Thank goodness for the little glimmer of hope this novel ends with – small though it is! For me this book instigated a non-stop reading session, and almost caused DH to venture into the unfamiliar territory that is known as our kitchen so he could scrounge himself dinner. Nothing, absolutely nothing was going to divert my attention from this story once I started reading. It is that good and that terrifying!
Boarded inside their home once their young son is diagnosed with the new bubonic plague, the reader experiences all of the heartbreak, pain and horror of this most terrible, man-made medical disaster along with the young, vibrant family. The descriptive narrative is plainly and compellingly delivered, and is told via the viewpoint of a young wife and mother named Liz. As the social structure rapidly disintegrates because the population becomes overwhelmed by disease, the small, struggling family loses even basic services over the course of a short two week period that feels more like an eternity.
For me, the author hit just the right notes, making this one of the most horrifying, gut-wrenching reads this year. Our world truly is small when set as the backdrop of such a widespread, unstoppable, and invisible destructive force.
A new strain of bubonic plague is diagnosed in London. Before it can be contained it spreads through the population, faster and more deadly than anyone could have imagined. Three weeks is all it takes to decimate the country.
Johnny tells Liz not to phone the NHS when their young son starts to show symptoms. But she ignores him and a few hours later the army arrives and boards them into their house.
Now Nathan is dying and there is nothing they can do to help him. Hours pass like weeks as their little boy grows weaker and weaker. All Liz wants is that they die with some dignity but the authorities refuse to help. Then the broadband dies and the phones stop working. Cut off from the world and boarded into their house, the family try their best to cope. But there is nothing they can do to stop the plague.